Researchers at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan China, used the drug developed at UC Davis to show that the neurofibrillary pathology of an Alzheimer's disease-related protein could be dramatically reduced. Their work was published in December in the Journal of Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
“They further demonstrated the mechanism of action of the UC Davis drug in blocking the oxidative stress-driven phosphorylation events associated with Alzheimer's disease,” Hammock said. The UC Davis drug stabilizes natural anti-inflammatory mediators by inhibiting an enzyme called soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) discovered at UC Davis and recently spotlighted in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institutes of Health's PubMed.
“I was thrilled to see this paper on tau phosphorylation from Huazhong University shows that our drug could block a key event and a key enzyme called GSK-3 beta thought critical in the development of Alzheimer's disease,” said Hammock, who holds a joint appointment in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“We were planning to do this study, but having another laboratory do it with our compound was even better,” he said. “Since our publication last year in PNAS that showed UC Davis soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitors both prevented and reversed depression, we have been excited about trying to block the development of Alzheimer's disease.”
The PNAS paper, “Gene Deficiency and Pharmacological Inhibition of Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Confers Resilience to Repeated Social Defeat Stress,” was co-authored by a 13-member research team led by Hammock and Kenji Hashimoto of Chiba University Center's Division of Clinical Neuroscience, Japan. They found that sEH plays a key role in the pathophysiology of depression, and that epoxy fatty acids, their mimics, as well as sEH inhibitors could be potential therapeutic or prophylactic drugs for depression and several other disorders of the central nervous system. Co-authors of the paper included Hammock lab researchers Christophe Morisseau, Jun Yang and Karen Wagner.
Hammock credited several UC Davis colleagues for their work leading to the publications. Research from the labs of Liang Zhang and Qing Li at the University of Hawaii--Qing is a former UC Davis doctoral student--pointed out some of the mechanisms involved in cognitive decline which associate professor Aldrin Gomes of the UC Davis Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and Fawaz Haj of the UC Davis Department of Nutrition “have shown to be blocked by the natural metabolites stabilized by the UC Davis drugs,” Hammock said.
One of the Hammock lab drugs is moving toward human clinical trials for neuropathic pain through a Davis-based company, EicOsis, LLC, and the financial support of the Blueprint Program through NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Hammock founded the company to develop inhibitors to the soluble epoxide hydrolase, a key regulatory enzyme involved in the metabolism of fatty acids, to treat unmet medical needs in human and animals.
“The clinical back-up candidate at EicOsis penetrates the blood brain barrier and should be a perfect compound to test if this class of chemistry can prevent cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease,” Hammock said.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, funded the research.
Highly honored by his peers, Hammock is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, which honors academic invention and encourages translations of inventions to benefit society. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the Entomological Society of America, and the recipient of the Bernard B. Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism, sponsored by the America Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He directs the campuswide Superfund Research Program, National Institutes of Health Biotechnology Training Program, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Combined Analytical Laboratory.
The 12th annual Bruce Hammock Lab Water Balloon Battle will take place at 3 p.m., Thursday, July 24 on the north side of the Briggs Hall lawn.
Christophe Morisseau, associate research scientist, said the lab has 2000 water balloons to fill; anyone who wants to be a water warrior must participate in the filling, which starts at 1 p.m. by the Briggs loading dock.
All are invited. “Whoever wants to get wet,” Morisseau said. “Children and spouses are always welcome.”
In the past, the water warriors, led by Bruce Hammock and Morisseau, have included professors, researchers, visiting scientistis, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and undergraduate students.
In addition to the water balloons, some favor squirt guns and toy pressurized water blasters. Others hoist half-filled buckets of water for sneak attacks.
So proficient are the water warriors that the “15 minutes of fame” often turns into “10 minutes of aim.”
Hammock, a distinguished professor of entomology who holds a joint appointment with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, launched the water balloon fest in 2003 as a way to build camaraderie and gain relief from the heat.
The Hammock lab works hard and plays hard. Hammock, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the Entomological Society of America, directs the campuswide Superfund Research Program, National Institutes of Health Biotechnology Training Program, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Combined Analytical Laboratory.
Newmark, a colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, will be hosted by researcher Bora Inceoglu of the Bruce Hammock lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. The lecture is part of the UC Davis CounterACT Center Seminars for Excellence, Pharmacology Training Grant and Department of Pharmacology (website and list of speakers pending).
According to an entry in Wikipedia:
"Sarin, or GB, is an organophosphorus compound with the formula [(CH3)2CHO]CH3P(O)F. It is a colorless, odorless liquid, used as a chemical weapon owing to its extreme potency as a nerve agent. It has been classified as a weapon of mass destruction in UN Resolution 687. Production and stockpiling of sarin was outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, and it is classified as a Schedule 1 substance."
"Sarin can be lethal even at very low concentrations, with death following within one minute after direct ingestion due to suffocation from lung muscle paralysis, unless some antidotes, typically atropine or Biperiden and pralidoxime, are quickly administered to a person.People who absorb a non-lethal dose, but do not receive immediate medical treatment, may suffer permanent neurological damage."
Newmark’s credentials include:
- Colonel, Medical Corps, U.S. Army
- Deputy Joint Program Executive Officer, Medical Systems
- Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical/Biological Defense, U.S. Department of Defense
- Consultant to the U.S. Army Surgeon General for Chemical Casualty Care
- Adjunct full professor of neurology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
- Staff neurologist at Fort Belvoir (Va.) Community Hospital
Newmark received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and his medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He completed a residency in neurology at the Boston City Hospital and fellowships in neurochemistry at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; in occupational neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital; and in neuromuscular disease at the University of Pennsylvania.
More information is available from host Bora Inceoglu at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning (530) 591-0697.
Program Grant Analyst
VM: Molecular Biosciences
University of California, Davis
(530) 754-8157 phone